To the Editor:
Reading of Bill Robinson's stepping down as basketball coach at Hoosac Valley ("Robinson steps aside at Hoosac", July 3) has caused me to reflect on 25 years of a commitment to excellence, and to his place in the lexicon of great coaches we have had in the signature sport of Adams/Cheshire.
Derek Gentile wrote several weeks ago of the legendary status that the generations past have held Art Fox and Chet Zabek and even Bill Boehner, during what has been called the Golden Age of basketball in our towns. I knew Art Fox, Bill Boehner and played for Chet Zabek, and may have a little perspective from which to draw comments. We still hold the record of most Western Mass. wins of any school during the years of that format (four titles in 1939, 1945, 1950 and 1953 when only eight teams were invited from Worcester to the Berkshires).
He suggested, and I heartily affirm, that Bill Robinson belongs in the company of those coaches (having added four Western Mas. titles and two state final appearances). Perhaps, with a declining school population and a more sophisticated game, and more sports programs to draw players, he might even head that list.
No one but Bill coached for 25 years at same school. All of these gentlemen created, for our towns, an identity with excellence in times in which we needed to have a focal point for pride. What that has done for the identity of our towns is irreplaceable What it has contributed to the youth of our communities and our towns is immeasurable.
Bill Robinson's tenure of 25 years is remarkable. Moreover his agile mind, sleepless nights watching film and game planning , his high standards for personal behavior and appearance, good grades and adherence to concepts of team, all were aimed at getting everyone to commit to high aspirations, to representing our towns with pride. Getting his teams as well repaired as possible was his personal goal. That came not only winning, but best efforts at all times, and a team that was always better at the end of the year. In addition to preparation, there was an uncanny ability to adjust during a game,and with the discipline in his teams, that made the adjustments possible. . His commitment also extended to the girls development with his involvement in AAU thus helping Ron Wojcik win an unprecedented four Western Mass. titles in a row with the Hoosac Valley girls' program
Thank you, Bill, for your caring, your skills and your commitment to our towns. It is appropriate , now, to ask that our town and officials rally behind a concept that will memorialize this man's impact on our youth, our and sense of pride, with a sense of heartfelt appreciation for extraordinary dedication and contribution, and success.
Let's realize, in a positive way, that he has earned his place in the historical lore of our basketball program and it's success by creating a remembrance worthy of him — having in our time — our own personal "Identity with excellence". I am proud to know him. We should all be grateful for his tenure, and his multi-varied accomplishments.